Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I feel like such a dork. Everywhere I turn I find ways to apply some of the lessons I've learned so far in school.

At the post office today, the line was almost out the door at 1:30 pm. Around that time they added another clerk to serve the line. Because I forgot something at home, I left and came back around 3 pm and the line was still out the door. Well, then OPIM started running through my head, and I started trying to figure out how to cut the wait time. I kept watching the door to estimate interarrival time and paid attention to the average service time. In the end of the day, a discussion with one of the staff members helped illuminate a possible cause to the longer than average line. (My theory: today the passport fee went up $12, so demand for passports increased significantly yesterday. Because that service takes a longer time than other services and there were more people than normal, the line was VERY long yesterday. Because of the extra long lines some customers were lost yesterday (hello Erlang loss!!) and flowed over to today. The post office will probably have long lines for the rest of the week. If some one had anticipated the increased demand for passports, and added extra staff to handle it - wait time for the rest of the week would be better.)

And then I found myself quoting my law professor when someone tried to insist that because there is no written contract - we don't have a contract. Umm not true, I told them but I said I would send them the fax they requested. (The person didn't like when I told them that - they said I lacked "civil respect." WTF is civil respect?)

And then there was the article in USA Today yesterday that was about the ramifications AT&T merger with SBC. The article talked about how AT&T used the media to appeal the public to get a fee waived on their calling cards. I immediately started thinking about the media interest framework presented in our public policy class.

So I think it's official. I'm a total dork. But I think its cool that some of the stuff we're learning has real life applications.

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